Vinyl Mastering

Vinyl Replication, Time Constraints & Ordering Instructions

 

Turnstyle Records™ handles the first and most important step to getting your records pressed. We don't have any package deals and are not brokers for any plating or pressing plants. We refer you to reliable sources we have the experience of working with. By walking your master through the plating and pressing process yourself, with the contact information we can provide you, you will save money in the process.

Below outlines the three steps to getting your tracks through the replication process:

 

THREE IMPORTANT STEPS TO VINYL RECORD REPLICATION

Step 1 - Turnstyle Records™ - Vinyl Mastering

From your prepared DAT, CD, MP3 or open-reel master, your audio signal is transferred through a Westrex 1700 console into our Scully disc cutting lathe. If additional limiting or equalization is needed, we can assist your track(s) with minor touch ups. Our modified Westrex console and cutter head is compatible with the high demands of both analog and modern digital music. Our lathe cuts the audio signal of your tracks into a spiral groove on a lacquer-coated aluminum disc (lacquer master). One lacquer master is cut for each side of your record. We scribe your matrix number (i.e., RCA-001) between the area between the label and lock groove. The matrix number is your master's identifier through the plating and pressing process.

Prior to sending your master to a plating plant, you have the option of ordering a reference disk (dubplate/acetate) of the exact same audio signal transferred to your master. This guarantees how your record will sound once pressed. Once you give us approval of the cut, we can forward your master for plating.

Step 2 - Plating Plant - Two Step Processing for Stampers

We refer you to the selection and shipment of your vinyl master to a plating plant. You handle payment through the plant in reference to your matrix number that is scribed on your master. The plating plant cleans the lacquer master, silvers, then plates it with nickel to make a part called a father. The father is used to make another part, called a mother from which a stamper is created. The lacquer father is the mirror image of the vinyl record final product. The resulting stamper is what will be fitted into a mold at the pressing plant to form your records.

It is during process, that you should have your label art complete and sent to the pressing plant.

We recommend two-step processing of stampers for every 1000 records to preserve quality of pressings and/or if one gets damaged or lost in the pressing process.

1. master is cleaned 2. placed in nickel bath plating plant nickel bath row

 

3. stamper separation 4. resulting stamper


(images above are courtesy of James G. Lee Plating Plant - Gardena, CA - circa 2000, prior to closing its doors)


Step 3 - Pressing Plant - Test Pressings and Vinyl Record Replication

Lastly, you would press the records at one of the many pressing plants available to you. We will provide you with contact information to these sources and can share our experiences with each of these companies with you.

The pressing plant first runs a "test run" of your record for pre-approval prior to pressing. This guarantees the quality of the record you will received from the plant. To avoid costly mistakes, carefully audition your test pressings BEFORE placing your final mass order for your records. Note: both the mastering house and the plating plant is not liable for your sign off approval of the test pressing once it goes to press.

In pressing the finished vinyl product, the pair of labels that will appear on the records are placed on both the top and bottom halves of the mold. The press is activated which forms the vinyl onto the chrome plated stamper. Excess vinyl is cut away, leaving the final vinyl product. The record is then placed in a weighted stack to assure even cooling that prevents bending or warping. The finished product is sleeved and shipped back to you.

pressing plant 1. labels are heated for pressing 2. stamper is fit in press
     
3. stamper vinyl biscuit & labels pressed records being sleeved record stack for boxing


(images above are courtesy of Bill Smith Custom Records - El Segundo CA - circa 1996)


RECORDING SURFACE TIME CONSTRAINTS

speed/size
running time@standard level/per side approx.maximum level(+6db)/per side
33rpm    
7"
10"
12"
6 minutes
13 minutes
16 1/2 minutes
4 1/2 minutes
7 minutes
11 minutes
45rpm    
7"
10"
12"
4 minutes
10 minutes
12 minutes
3 minutes
6 minutes
8 minutes
78rpm    
7'
10"
12"
n/a
5 1/2 minutes
7 minutes
n/a
4 minutes
5 minutes